Student Life

Navigating the World: Driving as a Teen

Written by Sierra Smith

                  The first step to driving is learning how to drive, lucky for us, we have resources that make it easier to learn and achieve your goal without spending too much money (it can be an expensive process). If you’re under the age of 18, you will most definitely need a permit, and you could take one of the millions of courses available, some of which don’t include the drug and alcohol test; which is a waste of money in my opinion, or you could take the drivers ed course offered by Sarasota Virutal Academy (a local version of FLVS).

SVA gives you half a credit, pays for your drug and alcohol/permit test and gives you a well-rounded education about rules of the road and what could happen to you if they aren’t followed. Yes, there is course work, but it’s easy and you could finish the 6-9-week course in 2 weeks if you work rigorously. Then, you head to the local DMV with at least one legal paper of existence and one paper with proof of address, and sixty dollars in hand (pays for the piece of plastic) and you receive your permit! In the fine print of it all remember, if you take your permit test online, the state reserves all rights to select you at random to retest within their facility.

Other than that, congratulations! You can drive as long as you have one adult in the car over the age of twenty-one that has been driving for a minimum of three years. For the next year, you will need to get a minimum of 50 practice hours on the road, 10 of which should be at night. The maneuvers you’ll need to know for the test and information about the test are as listed below, and were gathered on the official Florida DMV website:

  • Three Point Turn – Turn the vehicle around in a 20-40 foot space.
  • Approach a Crossing – Get in the proper lane and look in both directions.
  • Observe Right-of-Way – Allow pedestrians to cross, pull over and stop for emergency vehicles, and do not enter an intersection where you will interfere with other traffic.
  • Straight-In Parking – When properly parked, the vehicle should be centered inside the space with no part of the vehicle extended out in the traffic lane.
  • Parking on a Grade – Proper parking for uphill and downhill, with and without a curb.
  • Stop Quickly – Make a quick, safe stop when the examiner instructs you.
  • Backing – Back for a distance of 50 feet at a low speed while looking to the rear. Do not use the rear-view mirror or rear-view camera monitor.
  • Obey Stop Signs – Approach in the proper lane, come to a complete stop before reaching the stop line or crosswalk, and remain stopped until you can move safely.
  • Obey Traffic Signals – Get into the proper lane and approach the light at a speed that will allow you to stop if the light should change. When the light turns green, do not move forward until the other traffic has cleared the intersection.
  • Signal and Turn – Get into the proper lane and signal your turn for at least 100 feet. You may use either hand signals or mechanical signals.
  • Passing – Always look ahead and behind to make sure you can pass safely.
  • Stay in Proper Lane – Drive in the right lane except on a one-way street. Do not change lanes until you may do so safely.
  • Follow at a Safe Distance – Do not follow too closely behind other cars. Keep a minimum following distance of three to four seconds.
  • Use Proper Posture – Keep both hands on the steering wheel and do not rest your elbow in the window.

Your vehicle will also need to be up to standard, all working signals and mechanics.

Vehicle Safety: A vehicle (with a valid license plate and registration) must be provided for a driving exam and safety inspected is required. The driving test cannot be given if any of the following are found:

  • Horn, rear-view mirror, directional signals, steering wheel, brakes, tires, brake lights, or tail lights are defective or inoperable
  • No windshield wipers on the driver’s side
  • No operable headlights when visibility is reduced
  • Cracked or broken glass that hinders visibility
  • Expired license plate or registration
  • No doors on the vehicle
  • Front doors do not open from the inside and outside
  • Vehicle does not have stationary seats
  • Vehicle does not permit the driver to give hand signals when required
  • Jeep-type vehicle without framed canvas or metal doors held by hinges and door latch
  • A low speed vehicle

Make sure to have a valid insurance and registration for the vehicle you will be testing in; you do not have to be on that vehicle’s insurance for the test.

    At this point it’s up to you to pass your test. The first-time fee is $6.50 and the second time fee is $26.50. If you’re nervous about the course they take you on, the DMV on Sawyer Rd. is open after five for the public to practice, as well as on the weekends at any time.

     Okay! So hopefully by this point you have passed and managed to look decent in your drivers’ license photo. Now, you’re responsible for whatever vehicle you’ll be driving, whether it’s yours or your parents, the insurance company cares. If you’re male, most, if not all insurances will charge you more due to statistics of males being reckless drivers more so than women (it sucks but it’s reality). And everyone will be charged more because they are a teen driver. The good part is, is that most good insurances will lower the cost based on courses you took (like FLVS) and if you have good grades, I know some even give you a chance to monitor your driving for a certain amount of hours and that can lower the cost too. When thinking about getting your own car, insurances will charge you more if it’s two doors because it’s considered a sports vehicle and if your car is red (once again, because of statistics that red cars are more likely to be involved in an accident).

      You know it all now! Have fun driving but remember to be safe and conscious of others on the road, just because you know how to drive, doesn’t mean they do.

A Senior’s Perspective: Volunteering

Written by Aiden Reeve 

 When a freshman starts thinking about volunteering, they might think of one of two things: the first being that they have 3 years to put it off; or, that it’s much too daunting and that they have no clue where to start. Having been in that position before and having those very same thoughts, I have a bit of advice: get started as soon as possible.  

The more time you give yourself–to get in your 100+ hours–the better, so that you don’t have to crunch them out within a shortened amount of time. Even a singular hour a week is better than nothing, and if something later on prevents you from volunteering you might not even be able to graduate if you can’t get the hours together.  

And while it may seem daunting, there definitely are options. If you choose to volunteer within walking distance, it’ll give you the time to work while you wait for your parents as you knock out your hours. The best example, in my opinion, is the closest and the best choice for any student, especially if you’re in an engineering CTE — The Faulhaber Fab Lab. The Fab Lab is literally 2 minutes away from the school, so it’s easy to get to and easy to volunteer at. Not to mention that by volunteering there you can learn handy and useful skills.  

If that doesn’t work, you could always volunteer at the Cat Depot, if you’re interested in that line. If that doesn’t work, you can always discuss with Mr. Turgeon about volunteering at the nearby elementary school, or the beach cleanups. At the end of the day, finding where to volunteer and how to get home, along with executing it, is your job. But, it doesn’t need to be impossible, or even hard, if you just put your mind to it.  

Freshman Point of View: First Week of High School

Written by Reagan West  

             This week, I was asked what it was like to attend a new school as an incoming freshman at Suncoast Polytechnical High School.  After some in-depth investigation and interviews, I have some insightful answers to share from the fresh faces around campus, with each offering their different point of views and experiences. 

As a freshman, here are some things Alexis Higgins said: “The first week of school was confusing with the schedule and teachers, but I slowly got the hang of it.” 

Words from Brianna Allen: “The first week of high school was exciting, nerve racking and fun. I didn’t know we would get that much freedom and responsibility at the same time.” 

Some thoughts from Zachary Taulbee: “It was decent, I mean I don’t have much to say. I met a lot of new people. It was a very confusing schedule.”

A few words from Caden Bilbrey: “The first week it was hard to wake up, but I got used to it on the second week. On Monday it was easy to wake up because it was the first day. Tuesday, it was hard to wake. On Wednesday I was late to school. Thursday, I pulled an all-nighter and Friday I went to bed at 6pm and woke up at 6:30am on Saturday.”

Words from Cassandra Thomas: “I was very excited to be here because I was a last-minute pick for the Nursing Program at STC.” 

The first week of a typical freshman was thrilling with a mix of anxiety and a dash of confusion.  The biggest adjustment was the adapting to the AB schedule and waking up much earlier than our middle school years.  The first week is now a wrap, and the Freshmen have found their rhythm as they navigate through their new school hallways and schedule. Dare I say… we are pros by now. 


Prom Pictures

There will be more pictures posted at a later date.



2018-2019 Students


Written by Phoenix Phan and Devon Geary

We teamed up to ask the students from all grades at Polytech about their CTE choices, what they’re proud of the most from their lives so far, and what they enjoyed about this school year. The questions we asked exactly were:

  1. What CTE did you sign up for and why? 
  2. What have you achieved in life? 
  3. What was your best experience this year? 

Dayanna Mejias 

Grade 11 

I signed up for EMT, Emergency Medical Technician, because it’s something that will benefit my career. 

My greatest achievement in life is being certified in CPR & First Aid and winning 1st place. 

My best experience is going to SkillsUSA in Pensacola. I had a great time going to the competition with my friends. 

Lindsey Wolf 

Grade 10 

I signed up for AGS because I’m interested in Animation. It’s always been my life goal and dream to become an artist and work for Pixar and one of their major works. 

I consistently kept my grades high and positive. It is what I’m proud of the most. 

Probably one of my best moment is the AP Capstone, because my group and I practiced throughout lunch the entire week before our presentation and the hard work paid off when we got a perfect score.  

Aby Mendez  

Grade 9 

I signed up for nursing but was placed in EMT. I’m so glad they put me in EMT because it’s even more perfect for me. I wanted something in healthcare because helping people has always been one of my strong suits.  

Most of my achievements have come from school related activities…so many academic and performing arts awards, but the one I’m most proud of is the Scholar Athlete Award.  

The best experience this year was being in yearbook club with my friends and getting a chance to photograph such beautiful people.  

Connor Farrell

Grade 11

I signed up for DVT because I want to learn how to create movies.

My greatest achievement and best thing that happened this year are the same: winning a Ringling writing competition.

Louie Faustino

Grade 11

I signed up for Electrical because it would be my back up job; electrical jobs are in demand; and learning a trade would be fun to learn and experience.

What I have achieved in life so far is that I am very close to getting my Eagle Scout as I am currently a Life Scout.

My best experience this year would be volunteering at the Habitat for Humanity as I learned how to set up receptacles, lights, and breakers.


Have Fun this Summer, AND Be Productive


By Cody McCauley

Year after year students are ecstatic about the upcoming summer break. There are various activities people do during their summer break; some being summer camps, working, traveling, and many more. However, there is always that boring time span that pops up during summer break; this is a great time to be productive. You could be productive by getting your volunteer hours done, applying for scholarships, and applying to colleges.

There are many opportunities to get your volunteer hours through different organizations or companies. One is volunteering at the Humane Society of Sarasota Florida; this gives you an opportunity to be with animals (fun!) and get your hours (productive!). Community Mobil Meals is also a non-profit organization that makes meals for people who need them; you could get your hours and be a part of a great cause. You could also volunteer at Mote Marine Laboratory supporting local marine research. While these are a few examples, there are lots more.

Applying for scholarships has never been easier now that you can apply for them online. Also, there are scholarships for just about anything. There are scholarships for sports, scholarships for certain majors, and even raffle type scholarships where you don’t have to do anything besides enter. One website you can find these on is “” Another website you can find these scholarships on is “” Don’t forget that every penny counts as far as scholarships go.

Most college applications are also online. But first, research the colleges you are thinking about attending; and, research which of those have the major you want. It is also necessary to find out what the requirements are to go to that college, such as minimum GPA and SAT or ACT scores. Once you find this out, it’s a good idea to start looking into applying. Some websites make it easy to apply to college; like “” is a great website, allowing you to apply to several colleges at the same time. Otherwise application information should be on the college of your choice’s website, under the admissions.

While you are busy during summer having fun, make the most of it because that is what summer is for. But, when the summer down time hits, don’t forget to be productive and cross some of those items off your “to do list.”

AGS Art Winners in the Front Office

Written by Isabella Ocasio

Teachers who truly wish to see their students succeed push them towards higher and higher goals. Although the stress can be immeasurable, the pressure allows for students to grow from adversity, learn from mistakes, and acquire experience in their desired career field.

Mrs. Amy Badovinac, the upperclassmen teacher for Animation and Gaming Simulation (AGS) at Polytech, pushes her students for those high expectations. Although the CTE is supposed to be based around game design, Mrs. Badovinac caters greatly to the artistic side of game design, which explains the art contests she’s always promoting. From encouraging students to enter the 2019 STEMsmart competition (in which a Polytech student won first place in the art division) to the Embracing our Differences event, Mrs. Badovinac is always giving her students opportunities that may one day be useful on college applications or a résumé.

Recently, Mrs. Badovinac impelled her juniors to submit artwork into the Sarasota County Fair Creative Arts competition in the Fine Arts division. The Sarasota County Fair lasted from March 15th to the 24th, and for over a week, art entered from all over Sarasota into the competition was on display for the community to see. Although public contests are always nerve-wracking, students were excited to see their work be appreciated.

Of the 28 juniors in AGS, 16 students – more than half! – placed first or second in the competition. 16 may seem like a high number, but contests were divided by age group (youth or adult) and art medium (of which there were 16 different possibilities), allowing for many types of winners.

According to Mrs. Badovinac, some neighboring schools weren’t able to win any awards, further highlighting AGS’s artistic talent and dedication. Mr. Turgeon and other staff members wanted to put Polytech’s pride on display for all parents, students, and other visitors to see – and that is why there are 16 glorious artworks in the front office.

Photo credits to Ms. Morrison and Ms. Effron. Photos edited by Isabella Ocasio. Please note that not all students were able to have their individual photo taken.

Short Story – Blur

Written by Brianna Barron

One rainy and windy night, there lied a small puppy quietly sleeping on his bed. As the thunder could be heard from outside his window, he still slept quickly as can be. Then, all of the sudden a streak of lightning could be seen, and a ruckus of thunder boomed, shaking the household. Quickly, the puppy awoke and ran towards his owner’s bed where he lied under the bed sheets.

The little girl smiled as she held her puppy and calmly petted him, telling him that everything was going to be fine. At last, the storm had gone, and the sun shined in where the little girl had awoken and so did her puppy. The girl, who’s named Alice, wasn’t a typical little girl, because she kept a secret of her own.

Her powers are a mystery, yet useful, where she can control things using her mind. Telekinesis, a gift given to her, unexplained but hers. She usually does most of her chores while her mother is off to the village. After she’s done she usually plays around in her patio along with her puppy, Oliver. Both, Alice and Oliver loved to play with one another, those two could never be separated from one another. Those two had it all: a home, a loving family and a bonded friendship.

Little did they know that their fate was about to change, as Alice’s mom had arrived back from the village she entered her house and began to prepare supper. Meanwhile, Alice was still outside playing with her toys and her puppy until her mom would call her to come inside and wash up her hands. Her next-door neighbor, Brad, who’s usually a jerk to Alice had decided to watch her play from his steps while calling her names. It was nothing really new for Alice since she would usually just ignore him, but suddenly a couple of cop cars parked in front of Alice’s house and she, along with her puppy, ran inside to her mother.

While Brad disappeared into his home, both policemen had knocked on the door and Alice’s mom opened it. She asked what was going on, why they were here. They had told her about the news of mysterious paranormal events coming from their house. Alice’s heart froze, how? How would anyone know about her secret? She had never shown it to anyone, never talked about it, nor does her own mother know about it. So how did these policemen know about it? How did the town know about it? They continued to talk, but her mom insisted that there were no such thing as paranormal events and that those rumors were false. Finally, she led them inside the house to show them around so they could see for themselves there was no “paranormal activities” going on. Once they started to investigate they found nothing that related to the rumors, and so decided to let it go, but before they were about to leave, that’s when Brad came out of house and ran to them telling them that Alice was the one with the paranormal powers.

She couldn’t move instead she stood there looking at what Brad had done; Alice’s mom couldn’t believe what he had said nor could the police officers. They all looked puzzled at what he had just said, until he showed them a video, a video of Alice moving one of her toys without her hands. The little girl had forgotten that one day when she was in her backyard playing with Oliver, she had decided to work on her telekinesis. Brad had happened to be playing in his backyard when he had heard Alice and decided to scare her, while intending to do so Brad had peeked through the fence and couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Alice, his next-door neighbor, was making her toys fly on their own; he was shocked and terrified, he had to record this on his phone. Everyone turned to her and were horrified, except for her own mother who wanted to calm down the situation. It happened so fast that the police had slowly tried to get a hold of her but all she could do was scream from fear, a loud unexplained explosion happened, and everything had just become a blur.

After-School Survival: Banking

Written By Isabella Ocasio

In America, we are graciously given the right to free public education. No matter how many bad days we have at school, or how many failing test scores we get, we must be thankful for this liberty, because millions of children around the globe have never attended any school.


Students in America are able to learn a diverse set of subjects, from the branches of science, to complex mathematics, to history all around the world, to writing and literature, and more. Here at Polytech, students are given even more options, varying from art and design to mechanics and engineering. And despite all this – despite all the vast knowledge students learn – they do not learn the most important subject they could: how to survive in the real world. For example, why are students taught how to graph quadratic equations over being taught how to buy or rent a house? Why are students told that the mitochondrion is the powerhouse of the cell, yet they are never told what taxes, mortgages, or bills entail?

Ultimately, I inquired a number of random Suncoast Polytech students and asked them: “What is one thing you wish schools taught, but don’t?” Below is a discussion of one of the answers I got: “How does banking work?”


Once you earn a job and begin to work stable hours, having somewhere to put your money is enormously important! How often you get paid varies from job to job, but once you get your regular check – or cash, if you’re paid “under the table” – you can deposit this money in different types of bank accounts that you must open with your bank. If you are under 18, your parent must help you through this process. The two most important types of bank accounts are a “savings account” and a “checking account.”

In a savings account, you can deposit and withdraw money as needed. It is best to place money you do not plan on spending soon here, especially since there is a federal limit on the withdraws you can make. For depositing money in your savings, you earn a small amount of interest (meaning more money). Lastly, if your bank ever shuts down, moves locations, catches on fire, or explodes, all the money in your savings account will be safe. If some emergency happens, you will not lose any of the money in your savings, so be sure to store lots of money in here, just in case!


If you are given money you plan on spending soon, then it is best to put it in your checking account. With a checking account, you can make payments with a debit card, write checks, make online purchases, and pay online bills. Again, a checking account is best for immediate payments

But wait, what exactly is a debit card? When you use a debit card to make a purchase, the cost of the purchase is drawn directly from your checking account. So, if you buy some groceries for $30, then $30 is taken out from your checking account. Stores will give you a receipt to sign when you use your debit card. You will have to write the total and your signature, and you can write a tip if you’d like.

These are very basic foundations of any bank account. Having a savings or checking account aren’t even necessary. There is still a whole other world of banking that hasn’t even been discussed yet: loans. However, there’s only so many words one can put in an article before a student’s attention leaves this mortal realm.

Free and Easy on Spring Break

Written by Cody McCauley


Spring break is a time for students all over to unwind from the stressful school environment, while giving their exhausted brains a break. Some go to new places, some go to old places, and some don’t go anywhere. But all students are using this time with the same idea of having fun and finally being away from school.

Students on spring break try to relax, having the ability to take a breath with out worrying about an assignment due the next day. How would it make you feel to have a week dedicated to easing your mind? Joey Platenik said, “Really good considering I’ve been thrown homework by every teacher the last couple weeks.” School has been hectic with lots to do. But luckily all of us students receive a week let go of all that stress.

Many people have fun in different ways and unwind in different ways. For example, I went to a skim boarding competition and hung out with old friends. For Joey Platenik he had “family come over and we went going golfing and to the beach”.  Walker Hayes added about his free time: “my plans for spring break were to skimboard and fish,” which is exactly what he did. Skimboarding is a beach sport where you throw a flat board on the sand when a wave washes up on the shore, and then you ride the board out into the water and do extreme tricks.  All of us doing something different with the common idea in mind that we a free from school and are having a great time.

We hope all students had a great spring break and found their piece of mind during that one last free week before testing, finals, and presentations take up all their time.


SPHS Student Receives Volunteer Award

Written by Brianna Barron

Recently I interviewed Jacob Hodgson, a Suncoast Polytechnical High School student who won an award of recognition for volunteering. I asked him a few questions, including about how he got the award and what type of volunteering he did.  The award that he won was a recognition award which was presented at the county building downtown and people were recognized for being some of the biggest contributors of volunteering in the county, and for all their hard work and dedication. I asked  him how he won his award and he described how he started volunteering at the Fruitville Library and how he was always looking for things to do to help out, which seemed to please the coordinator there. Jacob explained that he now has all 100 of his volunteer hours needed to graduate and apply for the Bright Futures Scholarship, constituting of about 98.5 hours from the Fruitville Library and the remaining 1.5 from an open house he did in school. When I voiced my curiosity about what type of activities he did while at the library, he explained how he would keep and sort the books, help out when needed, and make sure events run smoothly.

It was pretty cool to find out more on how he got the award and the reason for it. It was also very kind of him to allow me to interview him and I’m very thankful for that. If you need any extra volunteer hours then you can get hours by volunteering in any near-by library, just like Jacob did.


A Pilot Speaks of Flying (to the SPHS 9th Grade)

Written by Cody McCauley

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1st Officer Mary Ann Claret, from Silver Airlines, and the mother of one of our own students here at SPHS – Maria Dach – spoke to the 9th grade classes on Wednesday March 6th during Seminar. She spoke of her education, her job, and the benefits of jobs in the fields of aviation.

Ms. Claret attended college at Emory Riddle College here in Florida where she studied Management and Piloting. She spoke of how during her freshman year, after completing three courses, she was able to get her pilot’s license and “solo” when she was only 18 years old. “Soloing” is when a pilot is able to fly on their own.

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She also spoke of how there are shortages in aviation labor market right now, with many jobs available from Air Traffic Controllers to Aviation Mechanics. She also said that the salaries are very good.

Ms. Claret works for Silver Airlines full time and also has a part-time job flying for Mote Marine Research Laboratory on Lido Key doing manatee surveys. When describing this part-time job, she said it was an “amazing experience — a unique way to fly and see Sarasota.”

Throughout her career, she has worked in various fields in the aviation industry including the Avionics shop, as an airline attendant, as a flight instructor, and in airline management.

She also spoke of groups and universities that are available to students of our ages (see photo). We all thank 1st Officer Claret for sharing her stories and experiences with the SPHS 9th grade. She truly has opened the eyes for many students to the benefits of working in the aviation industry.

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The Importance of Learning a Foreign Language

Written by Keira Geary

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Why You Should Learn Another Language – Benefits – World Languages – Methods and Tips

As globalization of the world continues to increase, the global face of language is slowly changing and growing. Bilingualism and multilingualism are perhaps one of the most useful real-world skills to have. Learning a foreign language will allow one to connect and communicate with others from different backgrounds all over the world. The benefits of speaking multiple languages will set you up for success in practically every aspect of your life.


Boosts Brain Power

Learning a foreign language introduces your brain to a whole new intricate system of rules, structures, and lexis. Your brain must cope with the complexity of the foreign language and absorb its patterns. Through doing this, your brain develops new learning skills, such as cognitive thinking and problem-solving.

Improves Memory

Learning a new language not only requires a familiarity with the vocabulary and rules, but also provides you with the ability to recall and apply this knowledge. The brains of multilingual people are more exercised and quicker to recall directions, names, facts and figures.

Improves Performance in Other Academic Areas

The benefits of learning and knowing more than one language included higher exam scores and improves reading comprehension and vocabulary. Language skills increase the ability to do well with different problem-solving tasks.

Increases Career Choices

Multilingual employees add value to the workforce and is a competitive edge in today’s world.

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World Languages

The most spoken languages in the world are:

  1. Chinese
  2. English
  3. Spanish
  4. Arabic
  5. Hindi
  6. Bengali
  7. Portuguese
  8. Russian
  9. Japanese
  10. German

Learning one of these languages, due to their global popularity and number of speakers, would give you an advantage to getting a job.

Methods and Tips

  1. When learning a new language, consistent study time is the key to achieving the best results.
  2. Don’t wait too long before speaking out loud, conversation and overall speaking as much as you can will really help you remember the language and help you learn.
  3. When learning a new language, Motivation is key. If you don’t have a good reason to learn a language, then you’re less likely to stay motivated for the long-run.


AP Capstone

Written by Brianna Barron


Recently, I interviewed Mr. Przekwas about AP Capstone, which is a program available to all students here at SPHS. I asked him questions about what it’s about and the benefits of completing it. If you’re interested in joining Capstone next year, starting in sophomore year, or just simply want to know what’s it about, then this article is for you. Here are some of the questions that were asked and his responses to them:

Question 1: “What’s AP Capstone and what are the requirements?”

Answer: “Capstone is the College Board program designed to increase student’s ability to think, write, and conduct research at the collegiate level. Students undertake two classes: AP Seminar and AP Research, and they must pass the courses as well the AP exam at the end of those courses to earn a certificate saying that they’re competent enough to do high level academic research at the collegiate level. If students pass four other AP course tests, they receive a AP Capstone diploma, which is the highest honor a student can receive; it’s the pinnacle of high school achievement besides the regular high school diploma.”

Question 2: “Why do you think students should pursue the Capstone diploma and/or certificate?”

Answer: “…The Capstone program brings us back into an awareness of not just that functionality, but also it brings us to the future of education in a positive way. So much of education you’ve been told that you can’t do, or that you must do it this particular way. We finally have a class where you’re told ‘yes you can do this, yes you can explore this creative outlet, yes you can research what you want to research.’ There is no wrong way to do things, generally, in this class. The only wrong way to do things is to not have a sense of creativity and not have a sense of inquiry. So, it brings us back to what education really should be all about, which is the student’s desire to learn something that they once didn’t know before.”


Question 3: “What’s the passing rate for AP Seminar and AP Research?”

Answer: “The pass rate for AP Seminar is one of the highest, from last year 2018 it was 89%, although AP Research is an unknown rate for now.”

Question 4: “How many colleges accept Capstone?”

Answer: “Nearly all of the colleges in the Florida system, most of the ivy league schools are considering it for acceptance as well and credit. As well out west, like the California State school systems are accepting Capstone. Many of the most rigorous, highly academic and selective schools are looking for this.”

Question 5: “What’s AP Seminar like? And what’s AP Research like?”

Answer: “AP Seminar is the theory and the practice before you get to Research, while AP Seminar teaches you the skills and presentation, how to design a presentation, how to interact with the text from a very unique and academic perspective, looking at author’s argument, their line of reasoning, their evidence, looking at it from a very specific point of view, and being able to integrate that information into a paper, and being able to present that information as well. AP Research is the application of AP Seminar’s theory, in which students will choose a topic that is of interest to them, whether it’s a STEM related topic or an academic related topic, they will explore that with a mentor outside of the school system, they will have a tremendous amount of independent movement and practice.”

Question 6: “What are the AP tests like?”

Answer: The AP test for AP Seminar is an EOC that the students take in May and is a two-hour written exam. It compromises two particular types of questions: they have to read and synthesize documents in one and they have to evaluate the author’s argument and evidence in another. Although, there is no end-of-course exam for AP Research, instead it’s the combination of their entire year: so, it’s a 5,000-word essay with a twenty-minute presentation in oral defense.

Question 7: “How are you maneuvering the schedules around to fit AP Seminar next year? Are you keeping online AP Lang.”?

Answer: “Yes, we’ll be keeping online AP Lang. I’ve learned to adapt a little bit on how that will work, it is a work-in-progress, but we’ve learned a lot on what students have done this year, what they need to be successful, and there will be still some changes to that. AP Lang for the current year sophomores will not be online, it will be face to face. If any junior wants to take Seminar for the first time, they will probably have to take an online AP Lang class. Honors English II online will continue.”

Hopefully, from reading these questions and answers you have more of an idea and knowledge about AP Capstone and have become more interested in joining Capstone. Also, major thanks to Mr. Przekwas for taking his time and allowing us to interview him and answer our questions. If you have any more questions about Capstone that you’re still unsure about then you can always ask Mr. Przekwas or email him.


Written by Brianna Barron

There is so much music nowadays that you can listen to, including pop, electronic, hip-pop, country, etc. Many songs that you listen to have meaning to them: some are love songs, break up songs, etc. Here are a few old songs that fit the bill: “Closing Time” by Semisonic, “Imagine” by John Lennon, “Harder to Breathe” by Maroon 5.

Personally, I’m more into Latin pop songs. One song that I’ve been recently listening to is a Spanish song by Santiago called, “Como decirte que te quiero,” which means: “How do I say to you that I love you.” I know, a love song; but for me this song has more meaning to me than just being a love song; the melody or beat, was something that I really like about it.

Melody/Beat: the song starts off with the piano playing the melody of the song, guitar, electric guitar, and drums later added. Even with all these instruments included, throughout the song, the melody is like a catchy, good beat, that makes you want to sing along to it, or hum it in some cases. The beat of the song really goes with the lyrics and both the lyrics and the beat create a little spark together.

Meaning: the meaning behind this song is how two different people, a girl and a boy, have a hard time confessing to their loved one that he/she likes that person. They talk about how they feel, and how that person makes them feel, by their side, or gone. It’s a song that makes you feel that it wasn’t written in a few seconds, but was written towards that person’s feelings, what they have gone through. For most people, it’s a song that you can really relate to.

Whenever you’re listening to a song, take some time to comprehend the song: is it something that you can relate to? What’s the meaning of the song? Or message? Does it have a sad beat, or melody? Or is it just a fast beat that makes you want to dance around. Also, don’t just listen to one type of genre of music–go beyond and listen to other types. You’ll be happy you did.

New Year Resolutions

Written by Aby Mendez

With the beginning of the new year comes the ambition to set new goals. So, let’s crank up the motivation by hearing what these celebs have planned for the 2019 “new year, new me” trend.

Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande had a tough year when it came to relationships. She endured the breakup and death of her ex-boyfriend, Mac Miller, she also broke-off her engagement to comedian Pete Davidson.  Her resolution was to remain single for all of 2019 and possibly all her life so that she can focus on herself. Maybe 2k19 is the year for us to focus on ourselves.

9th Grader Zander Rouwhorst

In 2019, I want to be unique and different. Especially when it comes to my music, I want to be different than others. And when it comes to school, I want to stand out and do my best too, as the year comes to an end.

Kevin Hart

Over the years comedian and actor Kevin Hart hasn’t failed to make many people laugh. The fun and lighthearted speech he posted on his Instagram story is sure to motivate you for at least a good 4 months. In addition, he went live on Instagram and told his followers that another trip around the sun means it is time for a “new attitude, new goals, new blessings, new beginnings and new starts.” He then followed these words of encouragement with some playful yelling, and his up-beat energy could be felt through our screens.

Shay Mitchell

Pretty Little Liars Actress Shay Mitchell has a huge audience to inspire (21 million followers). The actress took to her Instagram story to tell her followers that in the new year, she wants them to remember that everyone is in the journey of life together. She continued by encouraging all her followers to be more compassionate, empathetic, patient and thoughtful in 2019.

Amazing Student Art


Bella Ocasio

This was a drawing for my friend’s 16th birthday. I spent 5 and a half hours on it, staying up until 3 am to finish it. I also wanted this piece to be a practice of a less cartoon-like art style.


Phoenix Phan

War: I’ve been dreaming of dystopian world, seeing devastating views. These images were still in my head until I let them all out on a piece of paper. I guess the best way of fighting against war is through art.

Constellations PP

Phoenix Phan

Constellations: When we’re together, we created something far better than what we would be individually, like stars in constellations.


Josette Compagniony

Ivy:  “Ivy” is about a 17 year old girl named Ivy. She’s loud, independent, and will stand up for what she believes in. Often dubbed as aggressive, Ivy is actually one of the kindest souls one will ever meet. She may not be the most intelligent, but she’s the bravest person you’ll ever meet. “Ivy’s character is based off an old friend of mine from Detroit.

Venice Indians Make it to Semi-Finals

Venice Vs Braden River, High School Football

Written by Austin Rozelle


A Friday night in late November was a night to remember. The Venice Indians have once again made it to the prestigious Final Four. Coach John Peacock is on his way to earning his third state championship ring. The final score of 28-21, brings Braden River to a well fought close of their season.

Though Braden River came up with a close loss, their stats showed more. Quarterback Bryan Gagg had an outstanding game with 350 total yards and a total of 2 complete touchdown passes.  The Braden River Pirates has called him the Man of the Match.  The Braden River Pirates had a total of 3 Touchdowns and a total of 3 Interceptions. The Pirates end their season with a district season of 4-1.

The Venice Indians pulled out the win with a total of 4 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. Running back Brandon Gregory had a total of 92 yards. The Venice Indians named two players for the Men of the Match. First being Brandon Gregory, and Zack Sessa for having an average of 59 yards last game with 4 touchbacks. The Venice Indians will play St. Thomas Aquinas. This match will determine who will be in the State Championship.

Pictures courtesy of the Herald-Tribune

Yearbook Pictures for Grades 10 and 11

Written by Aby Mendez